Category Archives: Buying tips for your NYC apartment

How making a low offer can backfire on a Manhattan property

Not that long ago, I showed an apartment on the Upper West side and the asking price was $1,975,000. The buyer asked me after seeing it what I thought of the price. I thought the price was right at the market price. They were asking pretty much exactly what the price per square foot in the building was for similar apartments. She decided to make a low offer starting at $1,800,000. Surprisingly, after a bit of back and forth, the seller negotiated the price down to $1,890,000 and accepted her offer. At that point, my buyer was very excited. But then hours after accepting our offer, the seller’s agent called to tell us that there was a full price offer now and they would be moving on to the new buyer. At which point, my client who was purchasing cash also offered the asking price. But the other party went higher. So we went higher. Thankfully in the end my client did get the apartment but she had to pay over ask and considerably more than the originally, agreed upon offer.

I think the lesson here is that you have to really understand the value of the property that you are offering. Even though it’s a buyer’s market, certain segments are still in demand and sell quickly if priced right. Also, the deal is never done until the seller signs the contract. For many reasons, starting too low may leave the door open for another buyer.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

How is a Manhattan co-op different from a condo part 3?

In this continuing series we will take a look at a couple more differences between co-ops and condos.

1- Co-ops tend to be located in prewar buildings while condos tend to be newer, shinier and more full of amenities. So if you love prewar lobbies, crown moldings and other details of prewar buildings, you probably will be looking at more co-ops. Almost all new offerings in the last 10 years plus are condos so condos tend to satisfy the wants of Manhattan buyers who are looking for newer buildings with amenities like swimming pools, roof decks, bowling or golf simulators. Some co-ops will have nice amenities as well but very few co-ops have been built in the last 20 years or so.

2- If you are a foreign national or US based investor, condos will most likely be your choice. Co-ops tend to examine a plethora of documents as previously mentioned including US credit. Since a co-op can turn down someone without providing a reason, if you are foreign national purchasing as a primary residence or a pied-a-terre, your safer bet will be a condo. Also, if you are purchasing for investment, almost all co-ops will require you live there first then there will be restrictions for how long you can rent.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Manhattan co-ops versus condos part 2

There are many differences between Manhattan co-ops and condos and in this series we take a look at a couple at a time.

1- Condos typically let you rent your apartment out without limit. So if you experience a job change and do not want to sell, you can rent out the apartment without an issue. In a co-op typically, you can rent out 2 of 5 years and then need to move back or sell.

2-Co-ops normally have higher monthly carrying charges than condos but lower prices. For example a 2bd/2ba co-op on the upper west side of about 1100 sqft might cost you  $1.5 million and have monthly charges of about $2900. A similar condo might run you $2.1 million but the monthly charges might only be $2000.

Price differences, and ability to rent out are just two differences of the many between co-ops and condos in Manhattan.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Thinking of buying a Manhattan luxury property for investment?

This is 3rd part of the series focusing on the purchase of Manhattan properties for investment. In this part, we take a look at the luxury market and it’s opportunities.

According to the latest study from streeteasy.com 2018 is the year of the discount for luxury property, roughly defined as $4mm and up by the study. 59% of the properties that closed were discounted and median discount was $980,000. This is up from 36% of the properties in 2016 and also up from 2017’s number of 54%.

One way to take advantage of the Manhattan luxury market is to buy and hold the property. Right now, the luxury market is in the 3rd year of buyer’s market. Less product is coming on the market, and land sales have slowed. Once this inventory is absorbed, then we will again see a shortage of inventory in the luxury market and the prices will rise again.

Also, luxury rentals will be more and more in demand. Take for example 1 Hudson Yards. It is a building with luxury amenities, liklap pool, salt water pool for children, cold plunge pool plus a bowling alley and lounge with kitchen, penthouse party room, and tons of outdoor space. In addition, there is an gym similar to an Equinox, a basketball court, and plenty of outdoor grills for barbecuing. In a neighborhood that is developing with construction everywhere, take a guess how many rentals are available in this 178 unit building. Zero! All rented. 1 bedrooms were $4800, 2 bedrooms $9,000 + and 3 bedrooms $15k and up. The rental market also for the last 2 years, has been oversupplied and this will change in the next 1-2 years. In 20 years of real estate brokerage, I have seen several cycles.

Take an apartment in Waterline square as an example. A 3bd/3ba in 1 Waterline Square aka 10 Riverside boulevard is asking just over $5 million. Due to the tax abatement, the monthlies for this 1824 sqft (169.4m2) apartment is $3,642 including the taxes.  A 3 bedroom/3bath of about the same size rented for $14,000 in 50 Riverside boulevard back in June of this year. Let’s do the numbers on this purchase assuming an asking price purchase.

$5,000,000 purchase
$14,000 rent monthly
$3,642 monthly charges
$10,358 net or $124,296 annually
2.5% return 

The 2.5% return does not take into account the market price of this apartment in the future as well as tax benefits such as depreciation. Let’s say in 5 years, the apartment is worth $6 million. Your rate of return then would be 5.6%.

Additionally, the monthly net income could support approximately $2 million in mortgage which could lower your necessary cash outlay to $3 million from $5 million. This would raise your rate of return in 5 years to 15%!

The luxury market is full of these type of deals where you can take advantage of the slowdown in demand and get in on the market before the market turns up again. If you understand that the tech and finance sectors are not going anywhere and also understand that Millenials might find it harder to purchase and many may decide to rent luxury instead of buying then you can take advantage of the opportunity that not everyone sees.

 

Part 1 of the Manhattan investment buying series

Mansion Global coverage

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

 

Thinking of buying a Manhattan apartment for investment?

This is the 1st in a series of articles for buyers who are considering buying a Manhattan apartment as an investment. 

I  once read an article where someone commented that NYC property is like a Swiss bank account for investors because it’s considered so low risk and certainly will go up in the future. But where do you buy and for how much? Should you get a loan or pay CASH? Here’s some advice that may help you to decide.

So let’s say you have $1 million just as an example and you want to invest. What are your options assuming you will not live there? Click through for guidelines.

Continue reading Thinking of buying a Manhattan apartment for investment?

Upper west side 2bd/2ba condos under $2 million

According to a search on listings website Streeteasy.com, there are 42 condo listings on Manhattan’s upper west side with at least 2 bedrooms/2 bathrooms under $2 million. The largest apartment for sale in this price range is a 1400 sqft duplex and the listings include 16 listings for $1.7 million and under.

The listings include two listings in the newly converted 350 W 71st street and overall 23 of the 42 listings are in Lincoln Square with many in the amenity rich Riverside Boulevard buildings as sellers attempt to move on from buildings with a tax abatement either recently expired or expiring soon. 7 of the 42 listings are in the Avery, at 100 Riverside boulevard which has a tax abatement expiring in 2 years. Overall, the Avery has 20 listings for sale of the 266 units.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

 

 

 

Thinking of buying your first Manhattan apartment?

Very often, I am asked by first time buyers what are the guidelines that banks use to determine how the bank determines how much they will lend. In generally, let’s take a look at a scenario where you are interested in buying a Manhattan condo for $1,000,000.

$1,000,000 purchase price
$200,000 down payment
$40,000 closing costs
?                   post closing reserves

In this scenario you need about $250,000 liquid plus post closing reserves which depend on the bank but let’s say 6 months of payments which can be in a 401k or non-liquid account.

In this case, your monthly mortgage is about $4,000 based on a 4.5 interest rate on a 30 year mortgage, add in about $1400 for common charges and taxes and you end up at $5,400. In order for the bank to make a loan you would need to have at least 2.5 to 3 times that in monthly income assuming little or no debt and very good credit. So you would need a minimum of $13,500 in monthly income or $162k annual. In many neighborhoods this will buy you a  1bedroom condo or even a  2 bedroom north of 110th street.

If you purchase a co-op, the co-op will require a minimum of 20% and in some cases more plus they will require 2 years of monthly payments in reserves so the cash outlay will be higher. So you may need close to $400k in assets to make the purchase. However, you will have a much larger choice of apartments with a co-op in this price range- 102 listings with at least 1 bedroom on the Upper west side under $1 million on the listing site streeteasy compared with 17 condos under $1 million. Co-ops are less expensive than condos but have more restrictions and higher monthly charges. More on that another time.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

33 Luxury contracts signed last week Record breaking week

33 Luxury Manhattan apartments priced at $4 million and up went to contract last week marking the best late June week since records were kept by Olshan Realty. Could this be a turning point in the luxury market as the pipeline begins to dry up. There is still a lot of inventory out there that needs to be absorbed but market conditions in favor of buyers do not usually last long in Manhattan.

Real Deal coverage

21 luxury contracts were signed last week

Manhattan’s luxury market continues to record strong sales this spring with 21 contracts signed last week for properties at $4mm and above. Roughly half of those contracts were signed for downtown properties.

 

Real Deal coverage

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

 

Thinking of buying in a Manhattan building with a tax abatement expiring soon?

I am constantly searching for apartments for clients and occasionally come across buildings that are tax abated. Generally speaking apartments above 96th street had 20-25 year tax abatements and below 96th street the length of the abatement was only 10 years. As a result, in the last several years, the abatement is phased out, and the taxes go up substantially.

When the monthly numbers are lower, buyers will pay more for the apartment which helps developers of new condos make more profits. But how do you analyze the value of a condo with a tax abatement expiring shortly and how much time is enough that is left on a tax abatement?

Continue reading Thinking of buying in a Manhattan building with a tax abatement expiring soon?